Liability in Nursing Home Abuse Cases

Our Lawyers Hold Nursing Homes Liable for Abuse and Neglect

Every year millions of senior citizens across the country are the victims of physical, emotional, and financial abuse or neglect. Many of these instances of mistreatment occur in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities. When your loved one suffers injuries from abuse or neglect in a nursing home, who is legally responsible? Is it an employee? A third-party? The corporation that owns the facility?

When you place a loved one in a nursing home, you do so with the expectation that they will receive compassionate, respectful care from reliable, well-trained staff. You assume that the nursing home is a safe and secure environment for your family member. However, patients often suffer injuries for a variety of reasons while under the “supervision” of nursing home staff. If you suspect that a loved one is suffering because of the actions of the nursing home facility or a staff member, get help from the experienced nursing home abuse lawyers at Alonso Krangle, LLP. Find out if you can hold the nursing home accountable for the injuries to your loved one.

Nursing Home Liability Requires a Breach of Duty

To pursue the claim that a nursing home is legally responsible for abuse or neglect, you must prove the following:

  • Duty of Care: You must establish the nursing home owed the resident/victim a duty of care
  • Breach of Duty: You must prove the nursing home breached the duty
  • Causation: You must determine that the breach of duty caused the victim’s injuries
  • Damages: You must show that the victim suffered measurable damages because of the injuries

Nursing homes generally owe a strict duty of care to its residents. The residents are there because they are unable to care for themselves. There are very strict regulations that govern the day to day operations of most facilities. The daily care of nursing home residents includes providing food, shelter, hygiene, water, emotional support, physical assistance, and medical care for each nursing home resident. Unfortunately, there is ample opportunity to breach the duty of care and cause injury to nursing home patients.

Nursing Home Liability for Negligence and Abuse

To hold a nursing home liable for injuries to your loved one, there must be evidence of neglect or intent. You must be able to prove that someone acted or failed to act and, therefore, violated the required duty of care. The owner or operator of a nursing home can be responsible for the acts of employees in addition to their acts. Some of the most common ways nursing homes are legally liable for negligence and abuse include:

  • Acts of intentional abuse by staff members
  • Acts of neglect by staff members
  • Using unreasonable or dangerous restraints on patients
  • Negligent hiring practices
  • Failing to conduct background checks
  • Improperly training staff members
  • Failing to provide, implement, enforce security measures
  • Failing to supervise staff members
  • Giving the wrong medication or wrong dosage or withholding medication
  • Using medicines to sedate patients, chemical restraint
  • Withholding food or water
  • Failing to repair hazards
  • Failure to have or implement appropriate policies, practices, and procedures related to the care of nursing home residents

Third-Parties Might Also be Liable for Negligence

There are occasions when you may be able to hold a third-party liable for your loved one’s injuries. More often, when a third-party causes injuries, there can be shared liability between the facility and the third party. For example,

  • There may be a design defect in a medical device or equipment that injures someone
  • A company may have improperly maintained or used equipment that causes harm
  • A vendor may have supplied poor quality food that sickens residents
  • An automatic medication dispenser may malfunction resulting in sickness or death
  • A trespasser, contractor or visitor can cause injury to a patient
  • A manufacturing flaw in a device injures a nursing home resident

In these situations, multiple parties may be liable for injuries to your loved one. Consider the following example:

A trespasser walks through the front door of a nursing home and sexually assaults a patient.

Who may be liable?

  • The company that manufactured the automatic door that was only supposed to open with a pass-key
  • The company who was supposed to check to make sure the doors were always working properly
  • The security guard who saw the trespasser walk in but did not check his ID as required by company policy
  • The nursing home who hired the security guard without checking his employment history which would have shown a history of poor judgment
  • The nursing home who failed to train the on-duty nurse to recognize and how to react to unexpected visitors. The nurse saw the stranger walk into her patient’s room and should have known something was wrong because her patient never had a visitor before.

Liability is Complex

As you can see, the issue of liability when it comes to nursing home abuse and neglect is complicated. It is best left to the nursing home abuse attorneys at Alonso Krangle, LLP. We will investigate the facts and determine which parties might be legally responsible for the injuries to your loved one. Our lawyers know what questions to ask, how to get information, and can put your mind at ease knowing your case and the safety of your loved one are in good hands.

Contact Alonso Krangle today at 516-350-5555 to find out more about filing a nursing home abuse claim.